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Conference Kicks Off The New Year

5 January 2005

Conference Kicks Off The New Year

The holiday season will finish promptly for a group of School of Psychology staff from Victoria University when they host an international conference, which opens today (5 January).

The Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition (SARMAC) biennial conference draws together researchers from all over the world to discuss topics that range from ageing to eyewitness identification procedures and false memories.

Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Dr Maryanne Garry hails this week’s conference as something of a coup, given that this is the first time the prestigious conference has been held outside the northern hemisphere.

“New Zealand typically has a small representation when we attend, so it is a real privilege to host this year’s event.”

Guest speakers include Professor Mahzarin Banaji from Harvard, who will speak on how biases in human thinking and feelings shape social judgements, Professor Harlene Hayne (Otago), who will present her research on the forensic value of children’s drawings, and Professor Christopher Hertzog (Georgia Tech) who will discuss the cognitive effects of ageing.

Dr Garry is delighted that so many international guests will take part in the conference.

“These international experts rarely visit New Zealand, and this will give our researchers an excellent opportunity to interact with them. We aim to extend our international collaborative endeavours through conferences like SARMAC.”

Before the conference opened, delegates also honoured the work of Distinguished Professor Elizabeth Loftus (University of California-Irvine), a leader in eyewitness memory and false memory research. A number of colleagues discussed how their research has been influenced by Professor Loftus’ work, which will be collated for a book due to be published later in the year. This function took place yesterday (4 January), before the official opening of SARMAC.


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